MANHATTAN, Kan.--"Press" Virginia got a taste of its own medicine.
No. 7 West Virginia, which came into Saturday's action leading the nation in turnovers forced at more than 23, committed a season-high 23 turnovers of their own and fell to Kansas State 79-75 Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
"We threw it to the wrong people," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "It's carelessness. It's hard to win that way, I know that. I thought we had good looks, but we just kept turning it over. You can't turn it over."
West Virginia also leads the nation in turnover margin at 12.5 per game, more than double the next best (Fordham, 5.9). But the Mountaineers only forced 16 Kansas State turnovers, including just five in the second half.
"It wouldn't have mattered," Huggins said. "We would have thrown it back to them."
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber had a different slant on the stat line.
"The big thing was stops," he said. "When we make stops it doesn't allow them to press. We pushed their defense down the court and made good decisions. We just played solid basketball."
Kansas State used a 9-0 run at the end of the first half and a 16-6 spurt to start the second half to seize control, at least for a while.
The Wildcats held a 65-55 lead when Wesley Iwundu hit one of two free throws, but West Virginia went on an 11-0 run to retake the lead. Both teams scored two points, and West Virginia held a 68-67 lead with 4:56 left.
Kansas State then rattled off the next seven points to regain control. Then, with the Wildcats leading by three with about 30 seconds left, Dean Wade intercepted a pass and fed Barry Brown for a layup to all but seal the victory.
"I just kept saying, 'Settle down'" Weber said. "We came back and made plays."
West Virginia was called for 30 fouls, and Huggins was unhappy most of the game.
"I'm going to defend my kids," he said. "I've done it my whole career, and I'm going to continue to do it.
"We were in such bad foul trouble I was afraid that we'd all foul out. I had three bigs with four fouls. I had to buy some time."
Kansas State (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) once again used balanced scoring, led by Brown and Kamau Stokes with 15 points each, D.J. Johnson with 14, and Wade and Iwundu with 13 each.
West Virginia (15-4, 4-3) was led by Tarik Phillip with 20 points. He was joined in double figures by Jevon Carter (14) and Daxter Miles (11).
West Virginia's pressure turned an early deficit into a big lead. A 16-1 run, during which the Mountaineers forced four Wildcats turnovers, gave West Virginia an 18-10 lead midway through the first half.
The Mountaineers extended the lead to as many as 12 on several occasions. But the 9-0 Kansas State run to close the half left the halftime score at 38-36.
The Wildcats were led in the opening half by Johnson with 10 points, the only player for either side to reach double figures. The Wildcats were hurt by poor free-throw shooting (5 of 12) in the first half. The Mountaineers were 9 of 10.
NOTES: The loss ended a five-game winning streak against Kansas State for West Virginia, including the last two in Manhattan. The series still stands 6-5 in favor of the Mountaineers since they joined the Big 12. ...Both teams have balanced scoring. All five Wildcats starters came into the game averaging in double figures. Four of the five Mountaineers are above 10 points per game. ... All but three of West Virginia's previous 18 opponents committed at least 18 turnovers in a game, including three with 30 or more.